Programs to Help You Improve Communities Nationwide (and Boost Your Resume!)

It's summer time and also job hunting season. To make that search a little bit easier, Youth Engaged 4 Change is compiling several federal opportunities we think are worth checking out this summer and beyond. Be on the lookout for more posts (here and here) on interesting programs that not only allow you to have a bigger impact on a community, but also boost your resume! Some even offer opportunities to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty (literally) in projects that make a real difference in communities nationwide.

First up, AmeriCorps.

Make a direct impact in communities nationwide by serving with AmeriCorps.

Join the ranks of almost 1 million AmeriCorps members who have served to improve communities across the country. AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in projects each year in nonprofits, schools, government agencies, and community and/or faith-based organizations across America. The time commitment varies, from ten months to a year, depending upon your project. Most assignments are full-time, but there are some part-time opportunities available.

AmeriCorps has four programs:

  1. AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) Traditional Corps: Travel the country working in teams to construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, clean up streams, and address other pressing local needs. 
  2. AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) FEMA Corps: Help communities prepare for and recover from disasters while also gaining professional skills in emergency management.
  3. AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America): Work on projects focused on ending poverty in America and make a real difference for those in disadvantaged circumstances.
  4. AmeriCorps State and National: Join a network of local and national organizations committed to addressing critical community needs in issues like education, health, or the environment.

Regardless of where you live and what your interests are, each of these programs has many opportunities for you to explore. AmeriCorps is not just about making you feel good about the work you’re doing (though we think that’s a big bonus). You get tangible benefits, too. Most AmeriCorps members receive student loan deferment, and may receive a living allowance and limited health benefit options.

There are some minimum requirements for acceptance into AmeriCorps programs, though requirements vary for different programs. For example, NCCC requires you to serve for at least 1,700 hours, be able to work in teams, and perform physical labor. VISTA requires members to be at least 18 years old. For more info on important details like timeline for acceptance, age requirements, trainings, and other details, check out these FAQ pages: NCCCFEMA Corps, and VISTA.[i]

Looking for more? Be sure to also browse our Opportunities page to get connected to internships, conferences, programs, and other ways to get involved. Want weekly updates on opportunities like this? Follow us on Facebook to see young Change Makers doing great work, for opportunities, tools for success, and support!

[i] Information for this post was pulled from AmeriCorps website: